I took some time off from writing Casual Golfers United to chair the 2019 GWBAA Golf Classic. This event supports the Greater Washington Business Association (GWBAA) and donates to two great aviation charities: the Aero Club of Washington Foundation and the Corporate Angel Network. We achieved a record setting year with 112 golfers hitting the course and more sponsors than ever before. I am not claiming sole credit as this is a team effort and I work with a great team. I want to share some successes that made this year awesome.
Charity Golf Tips:
Its About Team:
The chaos during registration is a crazy rush for an hour but the golfers and sponsors should never know that. We assign volunteers to certain posts were demand is greatest. We put at least three people on the check in desk to help sign people in, give out goodie bags, and sell mulligan tickets. It is a line and flow that moves the golfers right to the breakfast buffet.
We also set two people as sponsor liaisons. Their job was to get sponsors and their gear to the holes 15 minutes before shotgun start. We supply each sponsor with a map on how to get to their hole. Remember, the hardest holes to navigate are in the middle, hole 5 and/or 13. The liaisons also review course rules (no alcohol) and coordinate need for ice.
Let’s Have Fun
Several sponsors asked if they could play games at their holes. The answer was “yes” as long as it did not slow down pace fo play. The games we saw this year were:
- Marshmallow driving competition
- Chipping whiffle balls into an umbrella
- Glider throwing contest
We had so much demand that we had to add sponsorships. Here are some that we added that did not add much cost or headache:
- Bag Drop sponsor: all golfers drop off their clubs so we sold that area of the day with a sign.
- Additional Closest to the Pin: 1757 is a par 70 with an extra par 3 we added to the other two closest to the pin.
- Closest to the Line: the course drew a line down two fairways and whoever was laterally closest to it won.
Review with Golf Course
Before the day off, I alway review with the golf course management what went well and what did not the previous year. I credit the team at 1757 Golf Club because they listen and treat us as partners in a successful day. We made sure that the registration desk was manned 15 minutes before registration opened. The course also did a great job helping with the awards ceremony posting winners on a slide show.
On to Next Year
Success breeds success so we are already putting together next year. We booked 1757 Golf club again since the team did a fine job. We will add some new sponsorships to try new things and offer more opportunities:
- Poker chip sponsor
- Swap pint glasses for insulated cups
- Pin flag sponsors
What makes a successful charity golf tournament in your experience as a player, sponsor, or organizer?